|31 January 2005||19th Magh, Nanakshahi|
After detailed assessment of the needs of the Tsunami victims in Campbell Bay acquired through first hand assessment by Project Leader Esher Singh, the UNITED SIKHS India team is ready to dispatch it's third cargo and five more volunteers to Campbell Bay. Two sets of shipments with basic food supplies and clothing have already provided the short term relief on the island.
Sat Bir Singh, Hargobind Singh and Hargobind Khalsa from the United States who came with the generous support of the Shield Foundation and Raj Khalsa Gurdwara joined the UNITED SIKHS team working at Andaman & Nicobar Relief mission. The team arrived in Chennai on January 27 and metup with Esher Singh and Team Leader, Navneet Singh.
The UNITED SIKHS team now famously known in Chennai as Team "Khalsa", after a brief overview of on the ground situation, continued at full forces to work for gathering relief material and prepare for the third shipment leaving for Campbell bay on Jan31st.
On January 28th, the had a meeting with Commandant of the Army Ordinance Depot, Colonel DJ Singh. They arranged for the purchase of Army tents for individual families, storage facilities and group tents for displaced families. Colonel DJ Singh also offered to help in the relief mission of UNITED SIKHS by offering and providing access to materials from the Army Canteen at Indian Army prices. UNITED SIKHS team purchased materials worth over Rs. 4 lakhs for the people of Campbell Bay. "We have now procured family tents, individual tents, personal hygiene materials, baby and infant materials, female hygienic and medicinal needs beyond the normal food and clothes needs. These items are very important, if mothers are not well, the children will suffer as well, we must look out for details." said Navneet Singh.
The team has been looking to improve the transportation needs of the people there and in the process of procuring a tractor and bicycles for the relief workers. "We are also looking to add a Medical Team in the next batch including an Ophthalmologist and an Optometrist to assist with the urgent medical needs of the victims", said Gurmeet Kaur the Project Coordinator of the S. India GHANAIA Relief Effort.
The team went to see the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Surjit Singh Barnala and updated him of the work that has been done by the UNITED SIKHS. They showed him exclusive footage of interviews that UNITED SIKHS had conducted of the victims there. Being one of the first NGO's on the island and the only ones with actual pictures and videos of the situation on Campbell Bay, they were able to show the Governor the real situation. They further discussed their plans for building houses, establishing a sawmill and reconstruction of the Gurdwara, as well as building a global support network to assist with re-building of lives in the area of Campbell Bay. The Governor responded with appreciation and pledged his full support. He gave them a recommendation for permission of travel and the use of the helicopter "Pavan Hans".
Meanwhile UNITED SIKHS volunteers Construction Lead Judge Singh and Langar Incharge Joravar Singh arrived in Campbell bay today on the "Sentinel" ship. UNITES SIKH's second shipment of supplies on INS Ship "Gharial" has also arrived safely at Campbell Bay.
"Partnering with UNITED SIKHS supporters and teams, we have amassed goods from Bangalore, Delhi, Amritsar, Chennai and the USA. We will take baby food, clothes, milk bottles, female hygienic medicines, sports equipment for children, antibacterial soaps, undergarments for men and women", reported the team. The team has also purchased electronic equipment such as speakers, amplifiers, microphones, harmonium and tablas for starting Diwaan for the CampBell Bay sangat. "With this shipment, and our presence we feel that we'll be able to touch their lives in many ways - personal, emotional, and spiritual." added the team of UNITED SIKHS.
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